Since 2017, solar panels have been installed step by step on the roofs of Kirpal Sagar to generate electricity. It all began with the old people’s home, which has now been completed. Due to a change of supplier there was a longer delay.
Photo: from left: Senior electrician, Chairman, German consultant
Water pumps for field irrigation run on diesel engines or require a lot of electricity. Most pumps are mobile and are used where they are needed. Solar-powered models have been around for some time, but have the disadvantage that the modules are permanently mounted so that an expensive module with its own electric pump was required for each well hole. This was to be changed by a mobile solar system. The self-construction has now passed the first test. For transport, the modules are compactly stowed on an existing trailer that is no longer needed and are taken to the place of use with the tractor. There the two panel supports are unfolded via a rail system similar to a drawer, connection to the pump brought along, ready. Solar is thus competitive with mobile diesel pumps in terms of practical handling.
Photo: mobile solar system supplies water pump
In summer, without irrigation, not much works in northern India. Traditionally, diesel pumps are used for this purpose. Electric pumps are now also available on the market for this purpose. Instead of laying expensive long cables or installing overhead lines in the fields to supply them, solar panels are an option. Since several wells located at a distance are usually used, each pump receives its own panel according to the conventional concept. It’s just a shame that the pumps usually only run for a few hours and the electricity generated cannot be used in the other hours. A mobile solution, in which the panels are brought to the pumps, is obvious. An existing old trailer served as a platform.
Photo: Construction on the mobile panel support for the electric irrigation pump
On 31 August, the first solar panels were put into operation on the roofs of the Academy and the boarding school buildings after the feed-in permit of the electricity grid operator had finally been received. Electricity prices in India are also soaring. Although there are many dams with power plants near the Himalayas, electricity consumption is rising much faster than energy can be provided. In the meantime, the Indian government has created framework conditions that permit the economically viable operation of photovoltaics. The electricity fed into the grid is simply offset 1:1 against the electricity consumed; the meter runs virtually backwards when fed into the grid. In the future, about one third of the roofs of Kirpal Sagar will be covered with solar panels. In December 2017 KS-plus took over a part of the amount and transferred 1.600 €.
Photo: Switch is ceremonially flipped down, the solar panels are in operation.
The first solar panels were installed on the roof of the old people’s home at the beginning of February 2018. Among the visitors on the roof also our second chairman as well as the cash auditor, who were just in Kirpal Sagar for the annual planning. In a first installment there will be 200 kWp installed power, further panels will follow, see also our program for the roof rehabilitation of the academy/ boarding school and the hospital.
Photo: Inspection of the new plant
Preparations for photovoltaics are in full swing. Not only must the modules be anchored on the roofs, the electrical infrastructure must also be designed for this. New cables had to be laid in many places, and the switching technology also had to withstand the load. At the end of December a new switch panel for power distribution arrived in Kirpal Sagar, which will play a central role here. The old installation had already become outdated and could no longer be expanded and upgraded at a reasonable cost. The installation will take place shortly.
Photo: new switch cabinet, approx. 4×2 meter large